Qantas has been informed by the Australian and International Pilots Association that long-haul pilots will take industrial action from this Friday, including making union announcements inflight to passengers. Qantas, which is assessing the implications of the work bans, says: “At this stage we don’t expect any flight delays or cancellations.”
In a statement, Qantas said: “Our priority is always to our customers and we are disappointed that the pilots’ union would intentionally disturb customers’ in-flight experience to make a point during an industrial dispute. This dispute is about the pilots’ union attempting to force all Qantas subsidiaries, including Jetstar, to pay the same high rates as Qantas. The union is also demanding pay increases and free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares. The claim, if it were ever conceded, would drive up airfares, cost jobs and make Qantas airlines and routes unprofitable.
“Despite the union’s slogans, all Qantas-operated flights are flown by Qantas pilots, including every Qantas mainline domestic flight and every mainline international flight. This claim is actually a requirement that pilots flying for all Qantas affiliate airlines, including Jetstar and Jetconnect, are either paid the same premium rates and working conditions as Qantas pilots or that Qantas stop flying codeshare flights with other airlines within the Qantas Group.
“The claim appears to be designed to damage the viability of Jetstar and other subsidiaries in the naive belief that this will lead to increased activity in Qantas.
“Qantas encourages the pilots’ union to work with the business to address the real challenges facing the Qantas International business.”